Naidoc Week 2023

4 Jul 2023

What does NAIDOC Week mean to you? We hear from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff at the ILSC to learn what NAIDOC week means to them.

“As I grow into the strong black woman I am meant to be, each year NAIDOC week brings a sense of calm and excitement all in one. Calm because I come from a long line of Strong Black Women who have stood in their truth and fought our fight to get us to where I am. I carry on that fight with the strength of all of them and excitement for the opportunity new life and new generations bring to that fight – the excitement for the future that could be for our grandbabies. NAIDOC is also a time to reflect on who I want to be to my community and how I want to carry myself and my family bloodline proudly, into the future. What kind of Elder will I be? Will I fill the shoes of the Elders who have walked before me, and how do we progress our mob to be our best? Of course, the best part about NAIDOC is catching up with mob, you hear ‘Who’s your Mob? Where you from?’ and it makes you feel at home. This year we have a responsibility to talk to our next generation about the voice. We need to be the Change.”

"NAIDOC means the opportunity to celebrate the best of my culture and family and to showcase who we are and what family means to me. It is also a chance to come together with other communities and Aboriginal people and to immerse ourselves in all our cultures and traditions. I particularly love getting together with my family as it gives me a feeling of belonging and home."

"NAIDOC to me is a very special time of the year I’m very passionate about my culture, NAIDOC give me the opportunity to celebrate who I am and what I love with my family/friends! It gives us a chance to show who we are, what we love doing, to be proud of ourself and to never give up on who we are. Gathering around with everyone and being surrounded by our culture is what makes me happy and doing that around NAIDOC couldn’t make me any happier!" 😊

“I am a Torres Strait Island man from the Samsep tribe on Erub, also known as Darnley Island in the eastern Torres Strait. NAIDOC for me is a week of celebration and reflection on the culture, history and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our country. This year's theme, "For Our Elders," for me serves as a poignant reminder of the important role that our elders play in preserving culture, language, knowledge and traditions. This week I celebrate and honour the significant contribution and impact my elders have had on me personally and continue to have. My elders went before me and paved a way for me to be the person I am today. I’ll attend the NAIDOC celebrations and march in Cairns and enjoy all the amazing dance and food.”

"NAIDOC for me is a time to reflect on cultural ways, because there was a time we would have engaged with neighbouring groups/mob with open arms effortlessly understanding one another without any judgements and show each other how we live on country and take care of country. This was done through ceremonies, dance, storytelling and I’m sure many other ways that I do not know of. NAIDOC to me, is bringing back that energy for blackfullas to come together in joy and share an understanding of each other’s ways through food, raw truth telling and celebrating in song and dance. NAIDOC for me, is a way to continue the past times in a modern setting and to pass on that spiritual connection through generations. NAIDOC can also be a safe space for healing and reconnection."

"As a proud Ngarrindjeri woman, I see NAIDOC week as an opportunity to gather with loved ones and celebrate our culture, history, and accomplishments, to respect and commemorate our elders and ancestors, and to celebrate as a nation by sharing our culture with non-Indigenous Australians."

"I enjoy the NAIDOC week celebrations because it’s a time where everyone comes together and focuses on a common goal. I am looking forward to attending the march again this year."

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